‘How to design an Urban Tissue’


The aim of the workshop is to acquaint oneself with the SAR73 method. We work on a given site (e.g. a city district of 20-50 ha) and a program of housing, densities, car parking, schools, etcetera. 


Introduction of urban tissues and the method SAR73 

(e.g. morning on day 1)

We learn about characteristics of different outdoor spaces, thematic and non-thematic design components, about zones and margins and the transformations and deformations, while applying a tissue model into a plan – illustrated by examples and case studies.


Designing a tissue model (e.g. afternoon on day 1)

We discuss and choose the patterns for thematic spaces in the district. We describe the patterns of open spaces (e.g. form and dimensions) and buildings (e.g. form in three dimensions) and the expected user experience in each. The day will conclude with the production of drawings for each pattern, focusing in their functions and the 3D building zones of a tissue model. Basic assumptions about average costs evolve.


Designing a tissue plan (e.g. morning on day 2)

We discuss non-thematic spaces - like a unique square - and exceptional buildings like schools, halls, shops, centers. We apply the model on site, transforming the model into a tissue plan. A more elaborated calculation of costs will be possible.


Illustrating the tissue plan (e.g. afternoon on day 2)

Traffic, water, plantations, piping and wiring, special parks and play grounds for children. Different categories of housing, offices, shops and special buildings, and schools, shopping centers, churches etcetera.


Time span: e.g. 12 hours in 2 days

Participants: e.g. 8-12 persons



Also see the introduction lecture “Urban Tissue”.
Site, program and cost components will be prepared with the workshop host.









‘How to design a Support Structure’.


The aim of the workshop is to acquaint oneself with the method SAR65. We work on a given building site of about one ha and a program of minimum and average dwelling sizes.


Introduction to supports and the method SAR65 (e.g. morning on day 1). We learn about different types of support structures, access spaces and their characteristics, thematic and non-thematic built spaces, how to analyze a support model with alpha-zones, beta-zones and ab-margins. We also have a look at different principles of façade systems, heating, piping, wiring and meter control solutions. All issues will be illustrated by examples of executed projects.


Designing a support model (e.g. afternoon on day 1).

We discuss and choose a support type, its construction and divisible indoor space and the private outdoor spaces, the common entrance, stairs and access spaces for the whole building, and we describe a ‘pattern’ of each space type: form and supposed experience by users. The day will be closed by drawing a support model, differentiating various spaces by function and zoning. The dimensions are still not exact. A rough indication of costs is developed.


Designing a support plan (e.g. morning on day 2).

Now we study dimensions of the divisible space of the support model by introducing household types, in particular the smallest one. Within the support model we look for opportunities for locating special non-thematic spaces and constructions, the exceptions. We then apply the model on the site and see what transformation of the structure would be appropriate to complete the plan. 


The specification of the support plan (e.g. afternoon on day 2).

Study of parcellation of the structure and different categories of housing. Design of façades, entrance, site plan and other topics. A calculation of building costs.


Time span: e.g. 12 hours in 2 days

Participants: e.g. 8-12 persons



Also see the introduction lecture “Support”.
Site and housing program are the responsibility of the workshop host.








Infill practice’


The aim of the workshopis to get acquainted with the infill consultancy on a given empty dwelling of about 50-70 m2.


Introduction to Infill Design (e.g. early morning)

Summary of the lecture ‘Infill’ and the basic principles of Open Building. We learn about different types of households, types of dwellings, the parcellation of a support structure and the organization of infill procedure.


Consultation exercise (e.g. late morning)

6-8 ‘clients and 6-8 ‘designers’ form pairs. Explanation of the roles. Clients receive furniture cards and designers the layout of an empty dwelling. Explanation of the design rules. Private infill sessions by the teams. Comments of the clients.  


Consultation exercise (e.g. early afternoon)

The same teams change roles of client and designer. New exercise on a second empty dwelling. Clients make notes about their needs and desires in housing, while designers make the drawing. Presentation of the designs by the designers, explaining the needs and desires of the clients. Presentation and discussion of the results.


Consultation on a larger dwelling (e.g. late afternoon)

New teams of one designer and two clients (representing a larger household) meet. Same exercise. 

Final evaluation.


Time span: e.g. 6 hours in 1 day

Participants: e.g.12-16 persons



Also see the introduction lecture “Infill Practice”.
Workshop material: scissors, rulers and transparent paper. 



How to design an Urban Tissue

How to design a Support Structure

Infill practice